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Starving For Perfection

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Starving for Acceptance

In today’s society, where physical characteristics are used to measure beauty and success, people are willing to push their bodies to extremes to achieve physical perfection. As an overweight woman, I may be considered a failure of society’s beauty test. However, my high self-esteem and acceptance of my body allows me to not be disturbed by what, to some, may seem as a sign of failure. Unfortunately, there are people whose desire to be accepted by society causes them to develop eating disorders. The two most common are called anorexia and bulimia (WebMD.Com Eating 1). The Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders, association (ANRED), states “Anorexia and bulimia affect primarily people in their teens and twenties, but clinicians report both disorders in children as young as six and individuals as old as seventy-six” (ANRED Statistics 1). Anorexia and bulimia are both serious eating disorders with differences and similarities in their symptoms, diagnosis, causes, treatments and prognosis.
Although anorexia and bulimia share many of the same symptoms, they also have many differences. “About half of people with anorexia also have symptoms of bulimia” (MayoClinic.Com 2). According to the American Anorexia Bulimia Association (AABA), some symptoms of anorexia are: excessive exercising, depression, weakness, exhaustion, constipation, and loss of menstrual period in women (AABA Anorexia 1). They also state that bulimics suffer from those symptoms as well. (AABA Bulimia 1). Although there are similarities, each disorder has its own unique characteristics. A major symptom of bulimia is binging and purging. Bulimics practice binging, eating large amounts of food at one time, and purging, causing themselves to vomit, or defecate, in an attempt to prevent weight gain (Reyes 1). Anorexics, however, restrict their diets and starve themselves in attempt to stay thin and if possible, lose more weight (“Anorexia Nervosa” 1)
Like any other illness, eating disorders need to be diagnosed by a health care professional. People with eating disorders may also have psychological problems (WebMD.Com Eating 1). Because of this, medical and mental healthcare workers are able to diagnose both disorders (ANRED Treatment 3). The Mayo Clinic states that race, age, and social status of patients are also factors that affect the diagnosis of eating disorders: ...

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